BSS #134: Marianne Wiggins


Condition of Mr. Segundo: Responding to the recent allegations concerning Bat Segundo and Vanessa Hudgens.

Author: Marianne Wiggins

Subjects Discussed: Fictive alter egos, Philip Roth’s The Counterlife, James Frey, Kurt Vonnegut, Hemingway’s screenplays, Edward Curtis, ephemera, patriarchy, W.G. Sebald, 20th century photographers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, truth vs. legend, “book time” vs. real time, photo manipulation, the similarities between Photoshop and Soviet propaganda, Abu Ghraib, novels as news source, literary antecedents, Absalom! Absalom!, disclaimers, dialogue, long em-dashes, the difficulties of writing novels in London, California geology, the exhaustion of writing measured prose, Las Vegas and Hunter S. Thompson, and bathtub symbols.


Wiggins: One interviewer said to me that he thought I wrote in the equivalent of jazz improvisation. And fortunately, given the luxuriant elasticity of the English language and our grammar, you can make all these elliptical riffs. You can put a dash in a parentheses and keep a whole thought going seamlessly, if — I mean, I hope the reader doesn’t get lost midway through the sentences and say, What? (laughs) Where is this going and what is this about? But my mind moves in that, with that rapidity. So it’s almost a musician’s notation more than a grammarian’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *